Bushcraft Workshops At The Canoe Symposium

Paul Kirtley making feathersticks in front of a group of people
Feathersticks demonstration during a Frontier Bushcraft fire-lighting workshop. See the video below for more details. Photo: Kevin Callan

Frontier Bushcraft was invited to run a number of workshops at the 2016 Welsh Canoe Symposium. The canoe symposium is an annual event which happens in England, Scotland then Wales each year in rotation. The 2017 symposium is in England. The 2018 symposium will be in Scotland. Then in 2019 it will return to Wales.

The symposium is an opportunity for open canoeists of all types to get together, hone skills, share experiences and see parts of their sport or pastime which is outside of what they normally do. There is also the opportunity to look at and even try out boats, paddles and other equipment from various manufacturers.

There are many practical skills sessions during the day, then talks and presentations in the evenings. Kevin Callan, the celebrated Canadian author and speaker, was special guest at the symposium and gave several entertaining and thought provoking talks. He also spent a good amount of time going around speaking with symposium attendees and videoing the various goings on, including some of our sessions (see below).

In the canoe journeys we make (click here for a detailed account of an example) and the expedition skills courses we run, the Frontier Bushcraft team deploys a range of bushcraft skills, which naturally dovetail with canoe tripping. At the symposium we wanted to impart a range of foundational techniques which would be useful to canoe trippers making journeys in the UK but also further afield, for example in Scandinavia or North America.

We devised two 3-hour workshops, the first concentrating on fire-lighting skills and the second on campcraft skills. Kevin popped into some of the sessions within these workshops and recorded them in his own inimitable style. Below are the videos of Frontier Bushcraft’s workshop sessions. Kevin always has fun with the subjects he is filming…


Thanks to Kevin for making these fun films, showing our team in action. Thanks also to Ray Goodwin and all who were involved in making the canoe symposium such a great event to attend. See you next time!

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Paul Kirtley is Founder and Chief Instructor of Frontier Bushcraft. He has had a lifelong passion for the great outdoors and gains great satisfaction from helping others enjoy it too. Paul writes the UK's leading bushcraft blog. He is the author of Wilderness Axe Skills and Campcraft, as well as having contributed to several other books. Paul has been involved in teaching bushcraft since 2003. He is also a Canoe Leader, British Canoeing Level 3 Canoe Coach and UK Summer Mountain Leader.

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